The normal procedure on the Senate floor would have been to dispense with the reading of the amendment. But “to alert taxpayers to this latest Washington scheme to take away your health care decisions,” Senator Coburn’s office writes, Sen. Coburn demanded that the full text of the 767 page Sanders amendment be read by the Senate clerk.
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It took eighteen minutes just to get through the table of contents … for an amendment. Philip [Klein] says the pace picked up a bit afterward, and the entire amendment could be read within about 12 hours. That’s twelve hours of floor time, assuming Coburn keeps withholding unanimous consent.
What does this do? It makes a hash out of Harry Reid’s plan to move the bill through the Senate by Christmas. Twelve hours of floor time for just a single amendment means that no other business can be conducted until at least Friday. Coburn apparently launched this effort in response to an attempt by Reid to shove the bill to a cloture vote without giving everyone enough time to read the bill or peruse the CBO analysis, due this week.
By throwing Senate Democrats off of their very tight schedule, pushing the ObamaCare into 2010, Coburn's move could potentially amount to a lethal injection.